1) Disclaimer: Spike is one of my favorite characters and I’m Spuffy trash. That being said, I can’t possibly side with Spike on this episode, and at no point I’m having shippy feels. No way. I think, however, what happens in this episode is pretty on character for both Spike and Buffy at this stage in their arcs as individual characters and in their relationship with each other. Spike had yet to sink to lower depths in his journey, of course. But this episode nails exactly why Spike’s feelings (yes, I think he had those) could not be reciprocated. Not yet.
2) So, how many “grand re-openings” do you think the Bronze had? Has anyone kept track of the times it was trashed?
3) It is refreshing to see the Scoobies dancing and having fun because, if I’m not mistaken, I Was Made to Love You was the last time we would ever see them be so happy and carefree (or as a carefree as they can be.)
4) And yet, Buffy was not having that much fun… And if I was showing you this screenshot with no context, it would be easy to think I’d taken it from a season 6 episode…
Which is why I personally take offense when people complain about season 6 being too dark and depressing. Because you know what? Buffy was going through a depression. And to this day, I still think Buffy’s depression was one of the best arcs in the show and one of the most realistic depictions of depression in television. You see, Buffy’s depression didn’t start once she was brought back in season 6. It was well under way by season 5. And I think there’s a case to be made about her depression starting in season 2 (after Prophecy Girl.) Of course, this is a rant for another day. All I’m saying, we should be thankful abot this particular arc because the show did A LOT of things wrong, but Buffy’s depression wasn’t one of them. It was nuanced, and it was gradual, and the signs were there all along even if it came to a head during season 6. And yes, it took her a whole season to get to grips with it, and that’s real. Because depression is not a cold that you catch one day and in a week is gone. And I’m glad the writers didn’t decide to write it as one. Seriously. I’ll forever be thankful for how Buffy’s depression was written into the show. Yes, it was dark, and messy, and hard to watch because sometimes Buffy didn’t seem like the Buffy we grew to love, and it was difficult to understand some of the choices she made, but it was very real. Sorry, I know I’m getting ahead of myself and this is something I should discuss while I rewatch season 6. It’s just this shot had “season 6″ written all over it and I had to.
5) And just as if it was season 6, Spike shows up exactly when Buffy is feeling miserable…
Also: notice the wardrobe change. As if he was trying to mold himself into what he thought Buffy wanted. Which is weird, because he knew Buffy didn’t love Riley so why would he turn into Riley?
ANYA: Xander, I think you may have hurt his feelings. XANDER: And you should never hurt the feelings of a brutal killer. You know, that’s, uh, that’s actually some pretty good advice.
7) At first I was like: why is Buffy interested in Ben? He’s so meh. And then I was I like: OF COURSE she’s “interested” in Ben - he’s the perfect replacement for Riley. Except for Angel, she had a pattern when it came to “choosing” the kind of guys she was “attracted” to: Owen, Scott, Riley, Ben. Other than Parker and Robin (who actually fit the pattern until his revelation), she always went for the kind of guys she thought could give her whatever version of “normal” she was after. But the thing is, there is no normal. And you can’t make yourself feel things for people even if you think they’re exactly what you need.